The Special Relationship and the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis, 1950–4
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The Anglo-Iranian oil crisis of 1950–4 provides an ideal case-study for those\ud interested in the postwar Anglo-American Special Relationship. This article investigates the\ud oil crisis with two purposes in mind: first, to demonstrate how Britain and the United States\ud struggled to adjust their bilateral relations in response to their changing postwar world\ud positions; second, to show just how crucial both countries perceived the Special Relationship\ud to be in the early 1950s. This is done by examining the American decision not to pursue a\ud policy in the Iranian oil crisis that would undermine Britain’s position, despite at times severe\ud Anglo-American tension. It is concluded that the problems created by the changing balance of\ud forces within the Special Relationship were mitigated in Iran by a combination of\ud consanguinity and, more important, the US need for British help in its policy of global\ud containment. In short, Anglo-American policy-makers perceived sufficient mutual need to\ud persuade them to actively preserve and develop the Special Relationship.
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